Birdseye view of plate of food on brown plate at COME restaurant

Insiders would have you believe that Madrid is gaining on Barcelona for the title of ‘best food city in Spain’, but this year’s Michelin Guide tells a different story. In fact, Barcelona beat the Spanish capital to the most Michelin-starred restaurants awarded in the 2024 guide ‒ five in total ‒ as well as being home to one of the two new Spanish restaurants awarded the rare distinction of three stars. (Spain as a whole reached a record 15 establishments awarded three stars for the first time in its Michelin history ‒ for comparison, the US and Italy each have 13). 

Madrid may have the down-to-earth, rustic bistros and hipster markets, but if you’re looking for fine dining in Spain, there’s nowhere better than Barcelona. This Catalan city is where the cutting-edge dishes, presentation, innovation and flavor pairings converge, making it the foodie break of dreams.

 Here are some of the top venues to visit on your next trip to this exciting gourmet city.



Plate of food and glass of wine on table at quira restaurant

Photo credit: @quiratrestaurant on Instagram

Another new one-star hero for 2024, Quirat is a contemporary Catalan restaurant in a light-filled, neutral-styled dining room. Here, chef Víctor Torres (who had already had a hit with Les Magnòlies in Arbúcies) sculpts delicate, arty bites such as creamed rice with sea anemones or tenderloin with a roasted red pepper reduction. Two multi-course tasting menus are named 18K and 24K, in reference to the jewelers’ measurement of carats. You’ll find it in the InterContinental Hotel, in the locals’ favourite Poble-Sec neighbourhood.

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Interior of tables at Suto restaurant in barcelona

Photo credit: @suto_barcelona on Instagram

It’s not all about jamon and queso in Barcelona; some of the best fine dining in Spain, and in this city in particular, is to be found in its international restaurants. One of two new one-starred restaurants to join the guide in 2024 (along with Quirat), Suto is a bijou Japanese spot, where chef Yoshikazu Suto slices up an omakase menu to a small group in a setting that feels more like a Japanese home than a restaurant. The handful of seats up at the polished pine bar are most sought-after, where you can hear the chef’s stories and creative reasons behind each dish as they’re presented. Expect dishes such as a delicate mackerel escabeche with shimchi spices.

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Close top of ice and food in glass with foliage in background

Photo credit: @disfrutarbcn on Instagram

A whimsical number in the Eixample neighbourhood of Barcelona, Disfrutar got the biggest cheer in the room when it was announced as a three-star winner at this year’s Michelin Gala. Run by three chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas all formerly of the legendary elBulli, it has long menus (25 courses on one option) and a “surprise and delight” ethos that diners love. Head here for some of the best fine dining in Spain: think beetroot meringues, molecular olives and vegetable sashimi.

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Cocina Hermanos Torres

White plate and food with hands held out at Hermano storres restaurant

Photo credit: @hermanostorres on Instagram

This Barcelona hangout joined the ranks of three-Michelin-star venues in 2023, thanks to its theatrical cooking stations, standing unshielded in the middle of the dining room. This means diners can unobtrusively watch the maestros at work, frothing and saucing some of the most dazzling dishes in Barcelona. Chefs and brothers Sergio and Javier have dreamt up a high-ceilinged, glossy black-and-cream space with cloud-form light fixtures and shimmering gold wall panels. There are plenty of edible flowers, smoky dry ice dishes and unique ceramics to photograph: Iberian suckling pig with apricot and tamarind is a standout dish, alongside gazpacho bonbons and baby eels with pil pil sauce.



Plate of food with truffle on brown dish at Aleia restaurant

Photo credit: @aleiarestaurant on Instagram

A 2023 addition to the guide, one-star Aleia is notable for its architectural pedigree as well as its food it’s located in Lluís Domènech i Montaner’s Modernist building, Casa Fuster (now a hotel). With just one tasting menu at lunch and dinner, decision making is taken out of your hands (though you can choose how indulgent you want to be with a shorter or longer wine pairing). Chef Rafa de Bedoya champions European-Asian fusion, so expect mash-ups such as brioche with cuttlefish and hollandaise, or Iberian pork consommé.

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COME by Paco Méndez

Plate of food with flowers on blue marble plate at COME restaurant

Photo credit: @comerestaurant on Instagram

Opened in 2022, this Barcelona Mexican is a prime example of great fine dining in Spain. Mexican chef Paco Méndez and his pastry-chef wife, Emma, have created a concept that’s both authentic and modern ‒ hot pink walls, woven rope lanterns, tiled cacti and decorative skulls mean this is no stuffy ice-white Michelin venue. The food is a modern, high-end spin on typical Mexican dishes and drinks: think wagyu tostadas, avocado with black garlic mole, and a horchata-inspired rice pudding. Méndez started out as an intern at the world-famous elBulli, and it’s thrilling to see how far he’s come.

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